Shortly after celebrating the location’s fifth year, Gus’s—the famed Memphis fried chicken shop that garnered the attention of everyone from L.A.’s own Jonathan Gold to, well, chicken lovers across the country—has permanently shuttered its Long Beach location, with one employee saying they were informed the space would be focusing on its Santa Ana location.
It was Long Beach’s formal introduction to Memphis hot chicken—not to be confused with the much spicier, much more known Nashville version birthed by the Prince family in the same state of Tennessee—and while stellar in its beginnings, sadly began to see a fluctuation due to the fact that it only one year to adapt to a brand new community when the pandemic hit.
While its Arlington Heights sister in Los Angeles shines with consistency with over a decade of experience, Gus’s ambitious expansion and push in the west in the late 2010s was warmly welcomed before COVID hit—and it is, as a personal note, worth lamenting that the shop didn’t quite get to the point where it could find both consistency and quality that made the name famous in the first place.
Even more, our city lacks a representation of Southern food on a level that is outwardly and obviously shameful: With a rich Black history, Long Beach was once dotted with places throughout the city, particularly the north and central sides, that honored and lifted up soul food.
Spaces with fried chicken, greens with ham hocks, peach cobbler, mac’n’cheese, potato salad, red beans and rice… These dishes were common menu highlights and the closure of Gus’s? It is a sad reflection of the loss of that once great soul food scene.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken was located at 2580 Long Beach Blvd.